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The History and Origins of Basketball

In the modern day Basketball is an extremely popular sport that appeals to a wide range of people of different ages, genders, and backgrounds. Even 16 years back in 1996 Basketball had become popular enough to reach Hollywood with the smash hit Space Jam starring Michael Jordan and other NBA stars. The sport now has even given birth to newer derivatives such as the action packed sport Slam Ball that involves trampolines, Basketball nets, and full contact. With the sport providing so much entertainment and new innovative derivatives it can be quite refreshing to take a look at its history.

The origins of Basketball can be traced back to over 100 years ago, to the town in Massachusetts known as Springfield. The establishment formally known as YMCA, the Young Mans Christian Association, and now regarded as the Springfield College was the home to the birth of Basketball. A P.E Professor, Dr James Naismith, at this college first initiated the sport. He was simply looking to keep his class entertained on a rainy day in early December 1891. The first game of Basketball had some significant differences from the modern day game, firstly instead of a hoop a peach basket was used, and the only way that you could move the ball around the court was to pass it.

After the initial birth of basketball the game developed slowly from what was just described towards our modern day sport. The Canadian inventor of the sport, James Naismith, kept working on the sport, and even brought in some rules from a childhood game he played called duck on a rock. It wasn't until the early 1900s that the fundamental Basketball rules we all know really came to be. The first game was played in Albany, New York. At this time the concept was very broad and the rules and regulations had not been fully developed, however this did not stop the sport from travelling and becoming an instant success across Canada and the United States.

Following this the sport was picked up at colleges and high schools, and by time the 1920s rolled around it had grown into a professional sport. Then Basketball went international, and in 1936 James Naismith travelled to Berlin for the summer Olympics and the sport was first featured as a medal sport. Ironically the YMCA began to discourage the sport about a decade after because it was attracting or creating rough and rowdy crowds. Finally in the 1950s Tony Hinkle emerged with the first ever basketball designed specifically for the game, the orange colour was picked for visibility.


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